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SOAPBOX: County’s Pi-town water plan is all wet

I want to emphasize the gross negligence, lack of proper planning and longtime bad thinking of my county government at the taxpayers’ cost. It could even be corruption as their ideas are so absurd that only their desire to get money seems to be the motivation, not serving the public and really solving the problem.

The San Bernardino Special Projects Department is proposing to blast a seven-mile-long, multi-million-dollar water pipeline in granite through an environmentally and culturally sensitive area which includes but is not limited to desert tortoise and Native American artifacts such as petroglyphs, pottery and arrowheads.

They propose tying into an already depleting supply of water and then pumping water uphill from 3,000 up to 4,000 feet to citizens (125 houses) in Pioneertown who do not have wells at a cost well over $3 million.

They are also trying to push this project through as a shovel-ready project without the proper environmental study. The reports they have generated are grossly inaccurate and at least six years out of date, including the cost estimate.


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Firstly, let me say that it would be far cheaper to work over wells, treat water and solve the water issue locally.

The county says they have looked at this approach and it was deemed not feasible?

They are dinosaurs who have been stuck in the same job for 25 years and can’t see outside of the box!

Intelligent, long-term, sustainable approaches include but are not limited to proper reservoir mapping, seismic services, well monitoring testing, well-workover, directional well drilling and water treatment, which is far cheaper than pipelines and can be handled locally.

This would employ local drillers and contractors, not county official favorites from out of town.

I retired at age 34 after working abroad and in the United States on well-workover for Schlumberger. They are heavily into such reservoir problems.

I was involved in the providing of well services and invoicing clients and it’s not all that expensive really!

I did rig-less well work-over to isolate zones of unwanted production and perforated new zones of desired production … successfully.

We could take a well that was shut in and turn it into a good producer of desired fluids.

I truly believe enough treatable water exists (even uphill over 9,000 feet and closer) on the eastern side of the San Bernardino Mountains for Pioneertown.

Why pump water uphill from a depleting reservoir through an environmentally sensitive area?

I also believe that intelligent approaches will only be the solution to the planet’s every decreasing fresh water supply.

Not kneejerk reactions such as pipelines and powerlines … build more … build more … robbing Sally to Pay Jessie.

…We could drill more wells and treat the water in Pioneertown for a fraction of the proposed pipelines’ cost without the environment, cultural and lifestyle impact. I’ve done it successfully enough to retire at age 34.

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